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P&O freight-only service would save jobs on Hull-Zeebrugge route

16 October 2020

Nautilus International has submitted counter proposals to P&O Ferries, following the company's decision to make further redundancies.

P&O has proposed shutting down the Hull-Zeebrugge service and to dispose of the Pride of York and the Dover-based vessels European Seaway and Pride of Burgundy.

Nautilus believes that the company should fully explore the potential of maintaining a freight only link on the Hull-Zeebrugge route as this would mitigate proposed redundancies.

'Our proposal will retain vital experience on the Hull-Zeebrugge route, give flexibility for future expansion should a viable tourist market emerge in the future and maintains a key strategic link from the North East and Scotland to continental Europe,' Nautilus International strategic organiser Martyn Gray said.

If potential for profitability on this route exists, with the forthcoming end of the transition arrangement and the need to provide more certainty for business and for government with respect to freight, it must be evaluated. If P&O decide to move to freight only operations, it would be expected that future operations should utilise existing people with skills, knowledge and experience.

The union has suggested other viable alternative proposals to mitigate and minimise redundancies, outlying a way of working that has the potential to save the company money whilst retaining additional employment.

'The company believes it needs to cut staff to cut costs, when other savings can be made by supporting continued employment and using its people in planning for the future and planning for success,' Mr Gray added.

Nautilus's approach to proposed redundancies at P&O was vindicated when the ferry operator brought back four vessel operations on the Short Sea.

Nautilus remains committed at P&O Ferries and elsewhere to saving jobs and minimising redundancies wherever possible.


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